Tippeligaen – Sogndal v Viking Preview (7/8/16)

SOG-VIK2

Sogndal preview

The hosts continue their remarkable unbeaten run which now stretches to a massive eleven games! Nobody expected this from Sogndal but even they would admit they were lucky to beat Haugesund 1-0 last week. Their opponents had most of the chances and they only won thanks to some solid defending, good goalkeeping and one opportunistic finish. Confidence is clearly high with Sogndal though and they are a really well organised side, hard to beat. For this match they are missing two wide midfielders to suspension - Kjemhus & Koomson. I’d expect their offense to be a weakened a bit, although striker Martin Ramsland returns from his ban. The last four Sogndal home games have all been pretty exciting, but coach Eirik Bakke might rely more on defensive strength considering two important pieces are missing from creative areas.

Viking preview

The Stavanger side haven’t played a Tippeligaen match for two weeks but were in action on Thursday against Arsenal in a friendly. They got absolutely walloped 8-0 and I have a feeling that match will do more harm than good. Viking didn’t field a complete first choice XI, but a number of players who started there will also be on the teamsheet for this fixture at Sogndal today. The visitors drew at Odd last time out, prior to that they lost against Viking and Godset. Viking haven't been playing particularly well and have slid down into the mediocrity of midtable. The coach reported that they suffered no new injuries against Arsenal so the squad should be in decent condition. The Stavanger side actually have the joint best away record in the Tippeligaen, winning five times on their travels already. Most of those victories were all against poor sides though, or teams in bad form.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I don’t think this will be a very exciting contest. Sogndal home matches have become open encounters in recent times, but it takes two to tango and I’m not sure Viking are willing to dance. They just lost 8-0 in a friendly, which suggest to be they will likely focus on defensive organisation here. It was ‘only’ a friendly but a result like that is sure to focus the minds of the players. It was noticeable how much Sogndal reverted back into a shell last week and without two creative players who are suspended something similar might occur. It’s likely both teams will rely on defensive organisation and solidity to try and get a result. If either side is to win then I’d favour Sogndal because of the great run they are on. This could end up as a potential rare Tippeligaen 0-0 in my opinion. The previous contest between the two ended that way earlier in the season and I don’t envisage a game littered with many chances. In terms of betting, nothing interests me. Sogndal -0.25 should be fairly safe but the risk of a draw seems too high. The bookies have wisely offered a 2.25 goal line which is highly unusual in Norway. I can’t go near that sort of under line in the Tippeligaen so I’ll refrain from betting here.

Prediction: 0-0
Recommended bet: None

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